Lindsay Amerault has been in the business for almost 10 years. She worked at ESPN as a Designer/Animator, was an Art Director for the New York Knicks, and intermittently, art directed for the New York Rangers as well. She has also provided her professional expertise to two separate agencies as an Art Director. With her considerable sports experience and great love of the industry, she now works as a consultant creating content for clients such as the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, and Panasonic, among others.
Recently the Art Career Project got in touch with her to pick her brain about her experience in the business of design and animation:
Lindsay, what inspired you to pursue a career in Computer Animation/3D Animation? Did you make any career u-turns along your journey?
From an early age I had a great interest in traditional animation (think Disney); you could often find me replicating characters in sketchpads my parents provided me. In undergrad I studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design, which gave me a great understanding of composition and typography. It wasn’t until my first job out of university, where I began as a production designer for ESPN (combining my love of sports and design), where I really began to appreciate the cross section of technology and design. I was amazed by all of the moving parts and how many small animations could contribute to successfully create an atmosphere for an entire show. Immediately, I began teaching myself new programs and immersed myself in the culture of this type of ‘art.’
What were your education and early pertinent work experiences that prepared you for this career?
I mentioned that I have a background in Fine Arts and Graphic Design. My undergraduate program at University of Florida really was priceless. Instead of teaching programs, we were taught how to develop concepts while implementing them with stellar design skills. I think this primary education has set me apart. Concepts drive design and that is what can really make your work unique. I followed my undergraduate degree with a Master of Arts in Motion Media from SCAD (Savanna College of Art and Design) while working full time. I took full advantage of SCAD’s eLearning program. I had some very influential professors in this program (some I still approach for advice today) who know how to push you and get great work out of you.
Was there a period in which you labored as an intern or perhaps worked in areas outside of your area of aspiration in order to make ends meet?
Oh, yes- definitely. During my studies, and as I was coming up, I certainly put in many hours working away in restaurants to help pay the bills. I also did several challenging internships that involved only print design. Even at the agencies where I have worked, although I was specifically hired to make broadcast media and animation more prominent within our scope of services, clients continued (and continue) to have other needs. I enjoy stepping back into a more traditional role from time to time; it keeps me caught up on best practices and allows me to visualize how print work might be translated into different forms of media.
So, you had to wait tables to get by. This is something anyone hoping to have a successful career needs to know. It can be hard and require sacrifice (like working in unpleasant jobs) to achieve the dream.
Yes, absolutely! Sometimes I hardly had time to sleep. I had to work so hard and for so many hours.
We notice that your home base is now in Bermuda. Nice! How did that happen?
Yes! I have always been drawn to the ocean and a more laid back lifestyle, so when the opportunity arose to live here, I jumped at the chance. The outdoor lifestyle here provides a really good balance for me. I am able to immerse myself in my work without much distraction, and when I want to recharge I step outside the front door and hop on my paddle board or go for a swim. I often pinch myself!
I guess that is a big benefit these days with creativity via computer and the cloud- you can work almost anywhere, even in paradise!
Absolutely! I am pinching myself as we speak!
What are some of your favorite or, perhaps, most noteworthy projects?
In general, I really LOVE working in sports. Not just because I am a fan, but there is constant change—in teams, in athletes, in matchups—the change drives innovation and concept in design. Plus, there is SO MUCH ENERGY. For a lot of communities, sports brings them together. It is a very cool experience to sit in an arena as a spectator, see your work on the big screen, and at the same time, witness a crowd reacting to your work.
Any tips you might wish to impart to the aspiring animator/designer?
Surround yourself with people who make you better—people who push you, whether that applies to your actual work, your work ethic, or attitude in general. If you hold yourself accountable for your actions, you will likely find success… I mean, if you can’t make excuses any more, then you have nowhere to hide and open more space for positive action.
What do see as the future of the gaming industry and entertainment generally?
That’s tough… I’m not really sure, but it will certainly involve a killer cross-section of amazing technology and superior design.
Well, that being said, what are your plans for the future?
Currently, my plans are to continue to grow my business and keep adding skills to my workflow. I also have a very entrepreneurial spirit. My father and I are discussing starting a business; stay tuned!
We look forward to hearing more about that another time! Thanks Lindsay for your time.
You are very welcome; my pleasure.
Lindsay’s impressive sizzle reels can be viewed via the following links: